Hospice is a philosophy of care founded on the belief that those facing a life-limiting illness should be able to live each day in dignity and comfort, on their own terms. We work to improve quality of life through symptom management and emotional, physical, and spiritual support for patients and their families. PENN Hospice sends clinicians and caregivers to the place you call home – whether that home is a private residence, senior or assisted-living community or nursing home. Our hospice services help reduce stress for family and caregivers, and reduce ER visits and unplanned hospital admissions.
Hospice care addresses the needs of the whole person and his or her family --physical, emotional, and spiritual. Our hospice care team includes nurses, home health aides, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, medical social workers, spiritual counselors, and volunteers, all working under the guidance of each individual’s physician.
Services we provide include:
Hospice visits are made on an intermittent basis. This means that while we have nurses on-call 24 hours per day, every day, we make multiple visits according to individual needs rather than providing 24-hour care at home. When a patient is passing, a PENN Hospice nurse will stay with the individual and family through the entire experience until everything is handled.
Generally, it is time for hospice when curative treatments are no longer effective, appropriate, or desired by the individual, or a physician has determined a prognosis of 6 months or less, based on the course of the illness.
It is better to begin hospice care early rather than late. Many people are referred too late to fully benefit from all the services offered through hospice. Families and patients get the most benefit from hospice when hospice is in the home for three months or longer. Some indicators that it is time to consider hospice include:
If a person’s condition improves, that person is simply discharged from hospice care, with the understanding that he or she can return to hospice at any time.
While hospice is often thought of as only for those with cancer or the elderly, it is for anyone of any age with an advanced illness, where the prognosis is 6 months or less, should the disease follow its expected course. Some common diagnoses include:
Those experiencing serious multi-symptom decline, frequent emergency room visits and/or hospitalizations, or discontinuing aggressive treatment may also be eligible for hospice care.
It is not necessary to be homebound to receive hospice care. Eligibility for hospice services must be certified by a patient’s attending physician or the hospice medical director.
Anyone can refer a person to hospice; individuals can even refer themselves.
If you need help with the process, contact Penn Hospice at 844.560.7320. We will be happy to assist you.